The Student Newspaper of Bingham High School

The Prospector

The Student Newspaper of Bingham High School

The Prospector

The Student Newspaper of Bingham High School

The Prospector

“Go Into Your Dance” with Bingham High School’s 42nd Street

Photo by Christopher Hults
Kaden Taufer as Julian Marsh and Chelsea Hansen as Peggy Sawyer in the spirited musical number, “Lullaby of Broadway”, featuring the entire cast.

Shining stage lights. Talented chorus girls itching for work in Depression-era New York. One hundred pairs of tap-dancing feet led by the best director on the Great White Way. Sounds like the recipe for the perfect Broadway musical, right?

Well, throw in a dangerous love affair, a leading lady with a broken ankle, and a wide-eyed new chorus girl less-than-ready to take her place, and you’ve got 42nd Street, the musical-about-a-musical that left Bingham High audiences dancing their way home.

Bingham High School’s student performers invited audiences to “come and meet those dancing feet” on November 16, 17, 18, and 20th, with two performances on the 18th. Set against the backdrop of 1933 New York City, 42nd Street follows Peggy Sawyer, an optimistic new performer desperate to be cast in big-time director Julian Marsh’s newest hit, “Pretty Lady”. With the help of the show’s resident tenor, Billy Lawlor, she gets hired by Marsh- and swiftly makes an enemy out of Dorothy Brock, a diva-ish leading lady. But when Peggy inadvertently causes Dorothy’s career-ending injury, leaving “Pretty Lady” without a star, can Julian and Peggy work together to save the show in time for its opening night? Well, as they say, the show must go on!

42nd Street enjoyed a triumphant weekend of toe-tapping, show-stopping performances, all directed by Bingham theatre teacher David Martin and featuring a talented team of over one hundred student performers, crew members, and musicians. While every Miner musical is unforgettable in its own way, this particular production shone above the rest for its unique use of the entire Bingham performing arts department, not just the theatre company. Many different organizations around the school worked tirelessly for the entire semester to bring the world of 42nd Street to life, from the actors of the Bingham Theatre Company to the Bingham High Dance Co to our talented jazz band.

Chloe Warnas as Dorothy Brock in her emotional solo number, “I Only Have Eyes For You”.

Work on the annual school musical began before Bingham High School even opened its doors for the school year, with a series of high-intensity dance workshops taking place throughout the summer. 42nd Street involves several tap dance numbers, which was a new skill for many of the students in the cast, but the actors were certainly up to the task and took on the challenge with grace and talent. Once school started, actors, dancers and crew members alike rehearsed every day from September to November, learning musical numbers, creating characters, choreographing show-stopping dance numbers, and memorizing lines to create the best show possible. It was certainly hard work, but in the eyes of the performers, it was worth every second.

[Theatre] brings together such different people, and I love learning new things and getting outside my comfort zone,” explains Chelsea Hansen, who played our hero, Peggy Sawyer. She has been doing theatre for quite a while and is living proof that the annual school musical is much more than a typical after-school activity. “I love to perform and take what I learn from theatre into all the other aspects of my life,” she says proudly. While playing a role as physically and mentally demanding as Peggy is certainly not for the faint of heart, she’s very grateful that she got to create the role. “My favorite part about playing Peggy Sawyer was being able to fully embody the positivity and love she has for theatre and dancing. Her personality was a positive influence on me outside of the show.

Of course, Chelsea is far from the only performer under the spotlight in the show. For instance, the entire Bingham High Dance Company performed in the musical every night. While Dance Company is usually not required to participate in the musical, the team was put up to the challenge this year in order to better integrate the many performing arts companies in our school. Performing in a musical is certainly different than performing in a dance concert, but according to dancer Lucy Scott, it’s been an exciting learning experience. “[The musical] was different from our typical dance classes since there were so many more people, and we were doing so many different styles,” she explains. “It was really cool to see the way the show came together.”

Another valuable company that lent its talents to the school musical was Bingham High’s Jazz band. Performing to live music is a rare luxury in the world of high school performing arts, so the entire company was very grateful to have such a dedicated and talented team of musicians bringing the music of 42nd Street to life. The production also boasted a professional student tech crew that kept things running smoothly behind the scenes, including lighting and sound managers, a team of run crew members to move set pieces, and two stage managers.

If you weren’t able to catch this year’s production of 42nd Street (or just can’t get enough of the Bingham Theatre Company), don’t worry! There are still several theatrical events going on at Bingham this year. Auditions for the Winter play, William Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, are coming up in December, and in the spring, the students of Bingham’s advanced Musical Theatre class will be performing the Broadway classic, Into the Woods. Students can also catch a gut-busting improv comedy show with The Unaccompanied Miners every month. And, as always, the company hosts monthly activities that are open to the entire student body to attend. Follow the Bingham Theatre Company at @bingham_theatre_company and Bingham Improv at @binghamimprov to receive updates! 

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